Country food distributed to more than a thousand Inuvialuit beneficiaries

Brian Wade, director of the Inuvialuit Community Economic Development Organization, holding up some of the meat that’s packaged and ready for delivery to households in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. Boxes packed with meat are distributed to beneficiaries twice a year. (Dez Loreen/CBC)

By Dez Loreen · CBC News

Program enshrines cultural values by providing meat to those who aren’t harvesting themselves

More than one thousand Inuvialuit households in the North are enjoying free local meat.

The Inuvialuit meat processing plant, run by the Inuvialuit Community Economic Development Organization (ICEDO), sends out boxes of country food to Inuvialuit beneficiaries households twice a year. Each box contains food harvested by local hunters, including fish, moose and even maktak.

Brian Wade, the director of ICEDO, said more than 1,100 houses in the region were sent boxes last week.

A cold storage area for country food that is distributed to homes in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. (Dez Loreen/CBC)

“We hand deliver the elders and single mother boxes right to the house, the others are general pick up,” said Wade.

He said the program echoes values and traditions from Inuvialuit ways of life — in the old days, if a person could not go and hunt, there would be someone to help them out.

“What we’re doing is just taking our cultural values of an able person outsourcing the country food and distributing back out to those who maybe don’t have the means to get out and harvest themselves, and that is what this program does” said Wade.

The wild meat is supplied from hunters and trappers across the six Inuvialuit settlement communities — Inuvik, Aklavik, Sachs Harbour, Paulatuk, Ulukhaktok, and Tuktoyaktuk.

The boxes of country food, distributed to Inuvialuit beneficiaries, includes maktak. (Dez Loreen/CBC)

The meat plant employs a team of six beneficiaries who handle the meat that’s sent in — cleaning, cutting, and preparing it to be packaged and sent back out.

The meat is only available to those living in the six communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.

Wade said households can register through their community corporation offices.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Canada’s Green Party leadership candidates debate food security and the North’s economy, CBC News

Finland: Finland’s farming sector in crisis: report, Yle News

Norway: Norway and Russia agree to slash cod quotas in Barents Sea, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: 2018 drought took toll on Swedish farmers’ mental and fiscal health, research says, Radio Sweden

United States: This Alaskan spice shop brings new flavors to Indigenous dishes, Alaska Public Media

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